Loch Palm Golf Club

Hole-by-hole Course Review

Loch Palm is described as "balancing challenge and fairness." The greens are maintained at playable speeds that are never superfast, thus encouraging visiting golfers to return. Nevertheless, there are plenty of testing carries across water and close encounters with impenetrable jungle. Placed neatly within a cordon of hills, the flight of most shots can be easily tracked through the air against a background of forest or jungle.

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Hole 1

BLUE 363 WHITE 347 YELLOW 329 RED 305
The first hole starts with typical Loch Palm style: a lagoon carves into the fairway from the right while stocky palm trees run riot along the left. The elevated tee provides a view that can quickly lose its appeal with a splash. Bunkers catch wayward tee shots to the left on this opening par four.

Hole 2

The first par five curls right around the big lagoon. Deep sand marks the first bend. Long-hitters may try a second to the green but for most players, a lay-up is required before firing across the water and bunkers to the elevated green. Sinking putts can be difficult on a tricky green.

Hole 3

Loch Palm's love affair with water continues. The tee shot on this par four has to find the safety of the fairway across water. Then the second shot also has to traverse an arm of the lagoon to an elevated, sloping two-tier green.

Hole 4

More water. This par three is at least away from the big lagoon. Several large bunkers hunker down around the green on the other side of a large expanse of wetness.

Hole 5

Hardest hole on the course, but one relatively open and surprisingly free from water, unless a player strays off the fairway in the wrong spot or overshoots the green. Mounds and bunkers define the path home.

Hole 6

A creek crosses the fairway but the real danger on this par four lies in the lagoon that intrudes on the right. A tall tree and bunkers mark the bend and, closer to the green, a clump of trees blocks the view where a second creek crosses the fairway. A waterfall tinkles prettily. The green is not easy to read.

Hole 7

The green can clearly be seen off the elevated tee on this, the second-easiest hole on the course. But so can water on the right, with plenty of stocky palm trees on the left. Closer to the green, bunkers intrude.

Hole 8

A spectacular par three where the fairway has been given over the bunkers and sand scrapes, and several clusters of large rocks. A curling coconut palm that used to be the hole's most distinctive feature now shares the fairway with other trees and obstacles. Out of bounds lies right.

Hole 9

No water to be seen, or heard. This par four opens up neatly once the out of bounds on the right has been negotiated. A long second shot is usually required to a stretched green guarded by the obligatory bunkers.

Hole 10

A rifle-shot is required from an elevated tee between encroaching jungle on both sides. Bunkers in the distance seem almost a relief. The par four then turns right as the fairway opens up, exposing a difficult second shot, with a tall clump of trees on a mound to the right-front of the green. Bunkers guard the left and foreground.

Hole 11

A par five from tiered tees down into a valley, with bunkers to the left and water to the right. There's a creek at the lowpoint, then a steep rise to the green. The green is a testing two-level surface, with hollows guarding the rear.

Hole 12

"Head for the hills" might be the cry off the elevated tee on this par four. The bend right opens up the fairway but anyone who tries to cut the corner too finely is likely to end up in swamp country. A bunker and a mound block the front-right of the green.

Hole 13

A par four with a creek running parallel to the fairway on the left. Mounds and fairway bunkers march along the right of this, the second-hardest hole, with out of bounds further afield. The large green barely compensates for the distance it takes to get there.

Hole 14

An extremely high tee shot down to a long green that is surrounded by a horseshoe of water. A clump of small trees mark one end of the heavily-contoured green and a huge bunker marks the other. Wind will always be a factor here.

Hole 15

What looks like an open shot down a broad fairway rapidly narrows options on this par four with the intrusion of a broad creek. The creek cuts the fairway diagonally, leaving players with the agony of deciding whether to shoot for the pin or try something less risky.

Hole 16

Shy clear of the lagoon on the right of this long par three and your ball may end up in the ornamental pond on the right. The sliding green is cut into a slope, with a large bunker on the right saving some shots from slipping into the water.

Hole 17

Running uphill, this par four is relatively open and rated the easiest hole on the course. Straight-shooters will have no problems with the scattered trees or the bunker in front of the green.

Hole 18

This par five curves rather than doglegs, a fact that has led many players to cut the corner too fine. The result: a date with the deep jungle that cascades off a hillside along the left. Cautious players will take the rolling, dipping fairway home, carefully avoiding the bunkers and mounds along the right and the lagoon beyond them.


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